Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane

Twelve years ago, Angela Gennaro walked out on her partner, Patrick Kenzie when he turned four-year-old Amanda McCready over to her mother in Gone, Baby, Gone.  There was one more book in the series, then Dennis Lehane moved on to standalone novels, leaving Kenzie/Gennaro fans begging for more.  We've waited eleven years for Moonlight Mile, but we finally have the novel that concludes the series in a way we can live with.

Twelve years after the events of Gone, Baby, Gone, Patrick Kenzie is still a private investigator.  He's also a desperate man, "Sucking it up doing jobs I don't like for a company I'm not terribly in love with so that eventually I can get hired permanent and we can get insurance and benefits and a paid vacation."  He and Angie are married.  She's close to getting her doctorate, and they have a four-year-old daughter.  But, they're hurting in a bad economy just as everyone else is.  He lost his free office as a consequence of the church reforms in Boston following their failure to deal with bad priests.  Patrick is feeling the same desperation as so many people in the bad economy, worrying about money and mortgage payments.

And, Amanda McCready has disappeared again.  Her aunt never forgave Patrick for giving Amanda back to her lousy mother.  Since Bea blames Patrick for the past, she wants him to find the sixteen-year-old. But, now, she's a sixteen-year-old on the run from her crazy mother and gun-toting husband, with just a few members of the Russian mob after her.  So why wouldn't Patrick look for Amanda when, "A girl disappears again twelve years after her first disappearance brought down a gang of cops and cost the city a few mil during a bad budget year?"  Of course, he'll take the case that drove a wedge between him and Angie twelve years earlier. 

Dennis Lehane has brought us full circle with Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro Kenzie.  And, he is still the master at telling the story of the couple and their community.  They're brought up-to-date in a city suffering from a bad economy; empty houses, unfinished developments, and people desperate to survive.  It's a story of consequences, consequences as a result of events twelve years earlier, and consequences of events the characters have no control over, the economy.   Moonlight Mile allows Patrick and Angie to team up for one more case, while Angie reminds him "Why we got out of the rough stuff business.  It wasn't just because you got shot.  It was because we were junkies to it.  We loved it.  We still love it."  

And, we still love Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro.  So, thank you, Dennis Lehane, for Moonlight Mile.  Here's a fan who accepts Moonlight Mile as a satisfying conclusion to a beloved series.

Dennis Lehane's website is

Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane.  HarperCollins, ©2010. ISBN 9780061836923 (hardcover), 336p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I requested a copy of Moonlight Mile from the publisher, so I could read and review it.


kathy d. said...

Hi Lesa,

Well, this is quite a rave review.

I saw the movie version of "Gone, Baby, Gone," but I am sorely tempted to read "Moonlight Mile," after reading this review.

It really sounds like a good book and a satisfying wrap-up of the series.

I must read it. I don't know when as the library has lots of reserves for me, I've still got books to read for the "informal" global challenge and books piled up with TBR lists taking up residence in my residence.

If I see it at the library, I'll grab it; otherwise, on the TBR list it goes.

Lesa said...

kathy - I was a big fan of the Patrick Kenzie/Angie Gennaro series years ago. Librarian friends introduced me to the books, and I was easily hooked. Lehane hasn't lost his magic with these characters. And, it is a satisfying wrap-up. Enjoy, when you get to it!

bermudaonion said...

I cannot wait to read this book. No one does suspense and tension the way Lehane does.

Lesa said...

I know you're going to like this one, Kathy, if you were a fan of the early Lehane books.

Anonymous said...

I really want to read this book, especially after your review.


Anonymous said...

I saw the movie Gone, Baby, Gone and now I'm interested in discovering the books too. And even though it's past Halloween, I have to say that your picture of your cats wishing all a Happy Halloween is amazing!

Mary M

Lesa said...

Hi Carol,

I hope you enjoy the book when you get it!

Lesa said...

Thanks, Mary!

A couple of those cats are hams anyways. Glad you liked them!

And, I hope you get a chance to read the books and discover Patrick and Angie as Dennis Lehane wrote them.

Kate L. said...

Lesa, thanks for the review - not that I wasn't already looking forward to this one, but now I'm even more impatient to get to it!

But ... some of your readers might not have tried Lehane yet, nor seen the movie of Gone Baby Gone, and your post starts with a significant spoiler. Could you revise it to just point out that Patrick's decision in the original case caused Angie to leave, instead of being so specific about the decision itself?

Just a thought - Kate L.

Lesa said...

Great thought, Kate, except I would have to completely rewrite that first paragraph, and the review has already been picked up by HarperCollins, and linked elsewhere.

I actually hadn't thought of that, and I knew many of my readers will just be picking up Moonlight Mile, so I thought that background on Amanda was important to this book. And, the back cover of my ARC, as well as every review I've read of the book, reveals that information, and the connection to Gone, Baby, Gone.

I appreciate the suggestion, but, with all of that in mind, I'm going to keep the review this way.

caite said...

I have not read any of the previous books in the series, not even Gone Baby, Gone or actually anything Lehane has written before and I still liked this book a great deal.

Lesa said...

I agree, Caite. Moonlight Mile can stand alone. You find out enough about Patrick & Angie, their history, and the history of this case to read the book as a standalone. Glad you liked it!